Published on Mamamia.com.au 3rd December 2017
I can’t help but shake this feeling lately.
The time has come to pack away our baby things. The blankets, wraps, onesies and even the bassinet, it’s time to go. Except this time, I know it’s the last time I’ll ever use them. It’s like the end of an era. My baby making days are through, and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that.
We’re done having babies, don’t get me wrong, there won’t be anymore, for a number of reasons. We knew baby number three was our last, and it was solidified by the extra trauma experienced during her birth – if I wasn’t done before that, I am definitely done now. Even my OB mentioned that it might not be wise to go again. It’s just that, I can’t shake this sinking feeling in my gut.
Deep down, I just don’t know that I want to be done.
I can clearly remember the deepest, darkest nights with my first-born. I would sob; I honestly didn’t know how I was going to do it. It was too much. Was I every going to sleep again? What I’m I supposed to do with this child? I would often wonder why anyone would do this more than once? Yet here I am. What’s more, I can’t even believe after everything we’ve been through, that I would even be feeling this way – but I do.
"I'm breathing in that sweet baby smell, and truly soaking in those gummy smiles. I actually want to take it all in. "
We haven't had an easy run (is it ever though?). I've had difficult births, children that don't sleep... ever (OK, they sleep occasionally), we've had colic and reflux, and we've done it on our own (without external family support). I even suffered mild Post Natal Depression after my first. But I feel like this time, we're finally hitting our stride; better late than never I suppose.
It’s finally making sense. I finally feel like I’ve got the hang of having absolutely no clue what I’m doing with these babies. Flying by the seat of my pants has become second nature. I guess it’s third-time lucky, or something like that.
For us, it’s definitely become easier, both mentally and emotionally, the more kids we’ve had. Which sounds like a complete and utter contradiction - yet, for the first time in my mum-life, I'm actually really loving the baby days.
Instead of wishing that she were just that little bit older (or that little bit more independent, or that little bit more mobile), I'm breathing in that sweet baby smell, and truly soaking in those gummy smiles. I actually want to take it all in. I want to spend my days with her sleeping on my chest, and I don’t mind one bit that she might never actually sleep in her own bed. I want her near me.
My heart breaks at the thought that once we're through these phases, we won't ever have them again.
There won't be anymore of those familiar firsts.
We’re experiencing the last of the firsts from now on. I can fully understand why the baby of the family remains that way. I'm going to hold this one just that little bit longer, soak in the midnight feeds while I can, and take in as much as I can while her world still revolves around me.
They say you know when you're done, and by all accounts, the many women I've spoken to about this, it's true. I guess for some of us it's not that simple. We've had to make the 'head over heart' decision. If it was up to my heart, I'd have 50 kids... but my head knows that it's time to let go.
Behind the blog...